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No Comebacks (BBC Audiobooks)

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Here are ten suspenseful, serpentine stories  of betrayal, blackmail, murder, and revenge... all  culminating in shocking twists of fate.   Within these pages live a wealth of  characters you will not soon forget... people  whose lives become irrevocably trapped in a world of  no comebacks, beyond the point of no return--from  the manipulators and the manipulated to the  u Here are ten suspenseful, serpentine stories  of betrayal, blackmail, murder, and revenge... all  culminating in shocking twists of fate.   Within these pages live a wealth of  characters you will not soon forget... people  whose lives become irrevocably trapped in a world of  no comebacks, beyond the point of no return--from  the manipulators and the manipulated to the  ultra-rich capable of buying and selling human lives, to the everyday man maneuvered by circumstances into performing deadly acts of violence.


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Here are ten suspenseful, serpentine stories  of betrayal, blackmail, murder, and revenge... all  culminating in shocking twists of fate.   Within these pages live a wealth of  characters you will not soon forget... people  whose lives become irrevocably trapped in a world of  no comebacks, beyond the point of no return--from  the manipulators and the manipulated to the  u Here are ten suspenseful, serpentine stories  of betrayal, blackmail, murder, and revenge... all  culminating in shocking twists of fate.   Within these pages live a wealth of  characters you will not soon forget... people  whose lives become irrevocably trapped in a world of  no comebacks, beyond the point of no return--from  the manipulators and the manipulated to the  ultra-rich capable of buying and selling human lives, to the everyday man maneuvered by circumstances into performing deadly acts of violence.

30 review for No Comebacks (BBC Audiobooks)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This is without a doubt the perfect book to leave in your guest room. They will discover 10 short stories with just enough twists and turns to keep them intrigued , peppered with memorable characters that may linger in a dream ,and sprinkled with a sometimes wry sense of humor that may leave a twinkle in the eye. It is hard for me to pick a favorite. But I will say that I believe this little gem has the power to make anyone fall in love with the short story all over again.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Arjün Kaül

    If I had to introduce young people to the joy of reading, this is probably one of the books I'd highly recommend. Compelling stories, all masterfully crafted and well written by a smooth literary hand that never eases up the excitement. There's a reason why Frederick Forsythe is one of the kings of thrillers. This book has ten examples of that. Don't take my word for it. Here read a sample of the first story and decide for your own self. http://www.amazon.com/No-Comebacks-Fr... If I had to introduce young people to the joy of reading, this is probably one of the books I'd highly recommend. Compelling stories, all masterfully crafted and well written by a smooth literary hand that never eases up the excitement. There's a reason why Frederick Forsythe is one of the kings of thrillers. This book has ten examples of that. Don't take my word for it. Here read a sample of the first story and decide for your own self. http://www.amazon.com/No-Comebacks-Fr...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    This is one of the best books ever written. I absolutely love "The Emperor" This book left me hungering for another short story fest with Mr Forsyth but alas it was not to be. I have read this book many times and find old hardcover copies to give as gifts. This is one of the best books ever written. I absolutely love "The Emperor" This book left me hungering for another short story fest with Mr Forsyth but alas it was not to be. I have read this book many times and find old hardcover copies to give as gifts.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I have never been a fan of the short story. I picked this up and was hooked on page one. All the stories are excellent and no two are the same. I would highly recommend this book. The story called The Emperor will be one that stays with me a for years.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Minnie

    This book languishes in the book collection of our beach house and this weekend I reread it again. It is generally difficult for me to rate a collection of short stories because their quality can vary from excellent to dismal. "Duty" and "Sharp Practice" are my least favourite stories but "Privilege" and "A Careful Man" are rare and precious gems that should be used as examples of how short stories should be written. My best quote comes from Privilege, when the judge looks at the complainant and This book languishes in the book collection of our beach house and this weekend I reread it again. It is generally difficult for me to rate a collection of short stories because their quality can vary from excellent to dismal. "Duty" and "Sharp Practice" are my least favourite stories but "Privilege" and "A Careful Man" are rare and precious gems that should be used as examples of how short stories should be written. My best quote comes from Privilege, when the judge looks at the complainant and thinks, "You sir lost control like the Concorde flies on elastic bands". A memorable image used in a memorable story of how the little guy sometimes wins. "Used in evidence" is tense and surprising, "The Emperor" is not truly original but nonetheless most satisfying. All in all a MOSTenjoyable read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    This read was a surprise for me. A friend bought this book, originally published in 1972, at a library book sale and gave it to me. Just glancing at the cover I determined this wouldn't be the kind of book I would normally read, figuring it was a kind of who-dunnit read. But am working through the 30 books unread on my bookshelf and chose this one this week. What a lovely surprise as I discovered this to be a book of 10 short stories, most about crime and whether it pays or not and a few that wer This read was a surprise for me. A friend bought this book, originally published in 1972, at a library book sale and gave it to me. Just glancing at the cover I determined this wouldn't be the kind of book I would normally read, figuring it was a kind of who-dunnit read. But am working through the 30 books unread on my bookshelf and chose this one this week. What a lovely surprise as I discovered this to be a book of 10 short stories, most about crime and whether it pays or not and a few that were more adventurous. The writing is excellent and all 10 stories captured me! I was sorry there were only the 10 stories when I reached the end!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Viceroy

    A great collection of short stories each with a unique twist at the end. In true Frederick Forsyth tradition, each short has , good plot pacing and wonderful descriptions. Would certainly like to read more short stories by this author.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Richard Jr.

    No Comebacks by Frederick Forsyth (4.5 - 5 Stars) Forsyth is a master on the same level as Wilber Smith when it comes to being a raconteur of tales. In the same was a Smith, he picks an area of the word he knows best for this set of short stories an pulls the reader in from the first paragraph. Of the ten short stories, I actually have three favorites and a fourth that I loved although it has a slight flaw which may never have been pointed out in previous reviews. First, a bit about my three fav No Comebacks by Frederick Forsyth (4.5 - 5 Stars) Forsyth is a master on the same level as Wilber Smith when it comes to being a raconteur of tales. In the same was a Smith, he picks an area of the word he knows best for this set of short stories an pulls the reader in from the first paragraph. Of the ten short stories, I actually have three favorites and a fourth that I loved although it has a slight flaw which may never have been pointed out in previous reviews. First, a bit about my three favorites without giving away the stories: “Comeback” which is the first in the compendium is by far the best, showing us the flaws in the reasoning behind the plan to set up a murder for hire. Well done, right down to the last lines that hit the reader far between the eyes. “The Emperor “wins my second place vote in this series, mainly because of the description of the fight to bring in the fabulous Marlin. Here is descriptive writing at it’s very best, capturing the full imagination of the reader right down to Murgatroyd’s bloody hands and the throes of death displayed by the monster. The final stages brought tears to my eyes. Truly the mark of a fabulous writier! “Used in Evidence” brings out again the Master Tale Teller in Forsyth. He had me hanging on the ending for the old man wondering what the final evidence would show, right up to the last line. Remember to count your chickens. The final great story “There are no Snakes in Ireland” is a mastery of showing human relationships and how different cultures react and perceive the same bits of information. It is also a model for remembering that racism can build up angers and tensions that have a comeback on the perpetrator of a prank. The one flaw is actually only obvious to a snake handling biologist who might have used a bit of tobacco or pipe tar to kill a snake in a manner that leaves it totally relaxed. By the time our snake had been in Big Billie’s tobacco contaminated pocket for even a few minutes it would have been long gone from nicotine poisoning. But my telling you this isn’t a spoiler, since that’s not the end of the story. Enjoy the read. You’ll learn why not to blackmail some “little people” and you’ll laugh at the consequences of greed and philanthropy. A great book to tell your buddies about!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Strömquist

    My absolute favorite collection of short stories and a great accomplishment by the author. All the stories herein succeeds in keeping the interest, twisting and surprising, while staying on the right side of disbelief. No-one will read this one and then fail to mention "No snakes in Ireland", which is wonderful, but there are 9 more great ones as well. Recommended for reading aloud also! My absolute favorite collection of short stories and a great accomplishment by the author. All the stories herein succeeds in keeping the interest, twisting and surprising, while staying on the right side of disbelief. No-one will read this one and then fail to mention "No snakes in Ireland", which is wonderful, but there are 9 more great ones as well. Recommended for reading aloud also!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sonia Gomes

    These ten stories keep you on the edge of the chair throughout, nail biting suspense,always with a twist at the end. My favorites "Money with Menaces" and "Used in Evidence" absolutely fantastic. No spoilers here!! These ten stories keep you on the edge of the chair throughout, nail biting suspense,always with a twist at the end. My favorites "Money with Menaces" and "Used in Evidence" absolutely fantastic. No spoilers here!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    John Pye

    I'm a real sucker for short stories and this book did not let me down. These I found were Forsyth at his writing best with some great lines and plenty of wit in some of the tales... from the retired bomb disposal officer to the wealthy underworld entrepreneur/gangster the characters are splendid and believable concoctions from Forsyth's imagination. A good book. I'm a real sucker for short stories and this book did not let me down. These I found were Forsyth at his writing best with some great lines and plenty of wit in some of the tales... from the retired bomb disposal officer to the wealthy underworld entrepreneur/gangster the characters are splendid and believable concoctions from Forsyth's imagination. A good book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ben B

    A collection of wonderful, unforgettable short stories. Some, like the title story, appear to be studies or sketches for full-length novels. Others, such as "Used in Evidence," are perfect gems, with nothing more to be added. A collection of wonderful, unforgettable short stories. Some, like the title story, appear to be studies or sketches for full-length novels. Others, such as "Used in Evidence," are perfect gems, with nothing more to be added.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tereza

    All the krimi stories were really impressive with surprising end. But two last - "A Careful Man" and "Sharp Practice" weren't really krimis and I knew from the beginning how this story ends. All the krimi stories were really impressive with surprising end. But two last - "A Careful Man" and "Sharp Practice" weren't really krimis and I knew from the beginning how this story ends.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aditya Patil

    Can't possibly explain how much I enjoyed reading this book. Read it during a very difficult and dreary time; few pages everyday after too much of mental exhaustion, and it has been a great relief. There are very few books, this included, that give you the feeling of pure enjoyment. The first story alone, though I enjoyed the rest, deserves five stars. Can't possibly explain how much I enjoyed reading this book. Read it during a very difficult and dreary time; few pages everyday after too much of mental exhaustion, and it has been a great relief. There are very few books, this included, that give you the feeling of pure enjoyment. The first story alone, though I enjoyed the rest, deserves five stars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sonali Dabade

    I read this book a while ago and this collection of short stories ensured that I appreciated the genius called Frederick Forsyth. My Dad was and still is a huge fan. But this one was one of Forsyth's only books that I absolutely loved. (Don't remember which year I read it.) I read this book a while ago and this collection of short stories ensured that I appreciated the genius called Frederick Forsyth. My Dad was and still is a huge fan. But this one was one of Forsyth's only books that I absolutely loved. (Don't remember which year I read it.)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tanaya Deshmukh

    The stories that I liked in no particular order- Money with menaces No comebacks (this is the best short story I have ever read) There are some days Privilege Duty A careful man

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    A book of well written short stories. I enjoyed the twists and turns. Recommend.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hitessh Panchal

    I never heard of Forsyth writing short stories and when this one crossed the shelf, I could not resist picking it up. No Comeback is a compilation of ten stories by the master story teller. Does he manage to bring in the same detailing like he does in his regular thrillers? -You Bet. All stories except one were excellent. Goodread only if you have loved reading Forsyth previously as his habit of meticulously detailing a crime and happening of a crime can bore you to death !!!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christian D. Orr

    An excellent collection of short stories by Mr. Frederick Forsyth, all loaded with intrigue and ending with fiendishly clever plot twists. The ending of the opening--and titular--story has arguably the most shocking and gut-wrenching ending of them all. IMHO, the most satisfying are "The Emperor" (a bit of "The Old Man and the Sea" meets "The Taming of the Shrew" for lack of a better analogy) and "Privilege" (it's great to see an uppity, seemingly untouchable mainstream media journalist get his An excellent collection of short stories by Mr. Frederick Forsyth, all loaded with intrigue and ending with fiendishly clever plot twists. The ending of the opening--and titular--story has arguably the most shocking and gut-wrenching ending of them all. IMHO, the most satisfying are "The Emperor" (a bit of "The Old Man and the Sea" meets "The Taming of the Shrew" for lack of a better analogy) and "Privilege" (it's great to see an uppity, seemingly untouchable mainstream media journalist get his comeuppance and poetic justice). The stories also give good insight into the societies and cultures of 20th century England, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland alike A couple of minor nitpicks: (1) "Used In Evidence" ends with a bit of a "WTF?" unresolved feel. (2) On p. 21, Forsyth commits a technical gaffe when he claims that autopistols are mode difficult to silence than wheelguns because "Automatics, unlike revolvers, do not have a closed breech." Actually, most semiauto pistols (including the 9mm Browning used by the character in that particular story) have a locked breech, and moreover, revolvers are more difficult to silence b/c of the exploding gases escaping the cylinder. Those nitpicks aside, a thoroughly enjoyable read, enhanced all the more by some delightfully witty prose employed throughout the stories. A couple of examples: (1) "It is a strange thing about police cars; when you need one they are like strawberries in Greenland. Scrape a few inches of paint off somebody else's bodywork and they come out of the gratings." (p. 122) (2) "It is one of the burdens of the Irish to pass through history being mistaken for the English." (p. 215)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Lord

    I thought these ancient short stories were really good. Nothing incredible, even a bit pat. Three short stories are collected here, each tightly wound with tension, logic and suspense. Set in Britain, Forsyth's investigations dwell upon the fine art of planned homicide. Plots are built carefully: a protagonist is introduced and defined, a motive is created, and events ensue with moribund rigor. The title story focuses on playboy Mark Sanderson, a man who "liked women," perhaps to a fault. He fal I thought these ancient short stories were really good. Nothing incredible, even a bit pat. Three short stories are collected here, each tightly wound with tension, logic and suspense. Set in Britain, Forsyth's investigations dwell upon the fine art of planned homicide. Plots are built carefully: a protagonist is introduced and defined, a motive is created, and events ensue with moribund rigor. The title story focuses on playboy Mark Sanderson, a man who "liked women," perhaps to a fault. He falls for a married vixen and hatches a plot to murder her cumbersome husband. But his best-laid plan to retain the services of a professional assassin goes astray in a macabre manner. Next comes the case of mild-mannered Samuel Nutkin who, after answering a lascivious classified advertisement, becomes the target of blackmail at the hands of the dominatrix with whom he was smitten. Forsyth's wickedly wry style.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jan C

    I put this done for several years. So there must have been something missing in the first few stories in this collection. Because at least six of the last 7 were just terrific. I only exclude the last story because it was a little predictable. The other stories had such a reminiscent flavor of O. Henry, who I read many years ago. He uses a similar turn of irony in these stories. If I have a favorite story, and I'm not sure that I do, it may be "Used in Evidence". In this story, a man is smeared in I put this done for several years. So there must have been something missing in the first few stories in this collection. Because at least six of the last 7 were just terrific. I only exclude the last story because it was a little predictable. The other stories had such a reminiscent flavor of O. Henry, who I read many years ago. He uses a similar turn of irony in these stories. If I have a favorite story, and I'm not sure that I do, it may be "Used in Evidence". In this story, a man is smeared in the Sunday paper and he wants to sue the reporter for libel. He finds this to be easier said than done. It is just too expensive for the individual especially when the paper has insurance to protect it. How to get back at the reporter? Our hero finds a way. These stories were just delicious.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Vijai

    An OK read, really. Mr Forsyth tries to shove the twist-in-the-end plot twist in every damn story, Thing is, it works with some and fails miserably with others. Case in example being that story of the judge getting conned. It was so plain obvious the priest wasn't who he was and that the other dude was playing him but the author had to drag the reader into an unnecessary court room scene and then the equally flat anti-climax. Pick this book if you are broke at a second hand mart to satiate that An OK read, really. Mr Forsyth tries to shove the twist-in-the-end plot twist in every damn story, Thing is, it works with some and fails miserably with others. Case in example being that story of the judge getting conned. It was so plain obvious the priest wasn't who he was and that the other dude was playing him but the author had to drag the reader into an unnecessary court room scene and then the equally flat anti-climax. Pick this book if you are broke at a second hand mart to satiate that month-end yearning for a dose of fiction. Your money and time will be well spent reading something better if the situation is otherwise.

  23. 5 out of 5

    John Clark

    I really enjoyed this book. I believe that anyone would enjoy you can short stories even if they are not spy enthusiasts. Each story has its own unique setting and characters all of them completely believable and Each story ends with a twist the reader could not imagine. I highly recommend this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Imran Ahmed

    Forsyth does not disappoint with this selection of short stories. Yes, they are set a few decades ago but the plots are as realistic today as when the stories were written. Few complaints about any of the short stories. For the reader who wishes to tackle Forsyth in 'bite size' chunks the No Comebacks selection of short stories is a must. Forsyth does not disappoint with this selection of short stories. Yes, they are set a few decades ago but the plots are as realistic today as when the stories were written. Few complaints about any of the short stories. For the reader who wishes to tackle Forsyth in 'bite size' chunks the No Comebacks selection of short stories is a must.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gina Rinaldi

    Really good, really quick read. The book consists of 10 short stories, most involving some form of revenge. Every story kept my attention, and the writing was clear and interesting. My favorite story, by far, is Privilege. The book is clever, and definitely worth a read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Peregrine 12

    I started this one but didn't get to finish it. However: these stories, written largely in the 1970's, are a LOT of fun! Very exciting read. I will finish this one soon, I hope. (Tip: Check out Forsyth's 'The Afghan' and 'The Veteran'). I started this one but didn't get to finish it. However: these stories, written largely in the 1970's, are a LOT of fun! Very exciting read. I will finish this one soon, I hope. (Tip: Check out Forsyth's 'The Afghan' and 'The Veteran').

  27. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    GFrederick Forsyth is one of my favorite authors. This is a book of short stories, not my favorite favorite literary form. These stories were 'Forsythian.' 'Favrian' is to football what 'Forsythian' is to literature. Both men are at the top of their game. (Brett, that one was for you!). GFrederick Forsyth is one of my favorite authors. This is a book of short stories, not my favorite favorite literary form. These stories were 'Forsythian.' 'Favrian' is to football what 'Forsythian' is to literature. Both men are at the top of their game. (Brett, that one was for you!).

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kaiva Koenig

    Really bizarre. The stories were thrilling alright, and had reasonable morals, but didn't seem very likely. The setup felt contrived, there are gaping plot holes and leaps in logic, however the characters and the setting comes across as quite realistic. Really bizarre. The stories were thrilling alright, and had reasonable morals, but didn't seem very likely. The setup felt contrived, there are gaping plot holes and leaps in logic, however the characters and the setting comes across as quite realistic.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    A solid collection of short stories, each with a nice twist. A masterful storyteller.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Traghunath

    The title story is without doubt one of the best short stories ever written....gives a whole new meaning to the term 'down to the wire' The title story is without doubt one of the best short stories ever written....gives a whole new meaning to the term 'down to the wire'

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